Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mr. President cares about my petition...

So here is the form letter response I received from for signing a petition that said nothing about 'reducing gun violence' the petition was a strongly worded warning against all government attempting to subvert my right to own firearms of my own choosing. Anyway, here's the canned response note:
A Message from President Obama about Your Petition on Reducing Gun Violence

By Bruce Reed, Chief of Staff to Vice President Biden

In the days since the tragedy in Newtown, Americans from all over the country have called for action to deter mass shootings and reduce gun violence. Hundreds of thousands of you have signed petitions on We the People.

I'm writing you today to thank you for speaking up, to update you on an important development, and to encourage you to continue engaging with the White House on this critical issue.

First, you should know that President Obama is paying close to attention to the public response to this tragedy. In fact, he sat down to record a message specifically for those of you who have joined the conversation using We the People. Watch it now:

On December 19, the President outlined a series of first steps we can take to begin the work of ending this cycle of violence. This is what he said:

"We know this is a complex issue that stirs deeply held passions and political divides. And as I said on Sunday night, there's no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. We're going to need to work on making access to mental health care at least as easy as access to a gun. We're going to need to look more closely at a culture that all too often glorifies guns and violence. And any actions we must take must begin inside the home and inside our hearts.

But the fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing. The fact that we can't prevent every act of violence doesn't mean we can't steadily reduce the violence, and prevent the very worst violence."

Vice President Biden has been asked to work with members of the Administration, Congress, and the general public to come up with a set of concrete policy proposals by next month -- proposals the President intends to push swiftly. The President asked the Vice President to lead this effort in part because he wrote and passed the 1994 Crime Bill that helped law enforcement bring down the rate of violent crime in America. That bill included the assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004.

As the Vice President's Chief of Staff, I'm going to do everything I can to ensure we run a process that includes perspectives from all sides of the issue, which is why I wanted to respond to your petition myself. Two decades ago, as domestic policy adviser in the Clinton White House, I first worked with Joe Biden as he fought to enact the Crime Bill, the assault weapons ban, and the Brady Bill. I will never forget what a key role the voices of concerned citizens like you played in that vital process.

The President called on Congress to pass important legislation "banning the sale of military-style assault weapons," "banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips," and "requiring background checks before all gun purchases, so that criminals can’t take advantage of legal loopholes to buy a gun from somebody who won’t take the responsibility of doing a background check at all."

An issue this serious and complex isn't going to be resolved with a single legislative proposal or policy prescription. And let's be clear, any action we take will respect the Second Amendment. As the President said:

"Look, like the majority of Americans, I believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. This country has a strong tradition of gun ownership that's been handed down from generation to generation. Obviously across the country there are regional differences. There are differences between how people feel in urban areas and rural areas. And the fact is the vast majority of gun owners in America are responsible -- they buy their guns legally and they use them safely, whether for hunting or sport shooting, collection or protection.

But you know what, I am also betting that the majority -- the vast majority -- of responsible, law-abiding gun owners would be some of the first to say that we should be able to keep an irresponsible, law-breaking few from buying a weapon of war. I'm willing to bet that they don't think that using a gun and using common sense are incompatible ideas -- that an unbalanced man shouldn't be able to get his hands on a military-style assault rifle so easily; that in this age of technology, we should be able to check someone's criminal records before he or she can check out at a gun show; that if we work harder to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, there would be fewer atrocities like the one in Newtown -- or any of the lesser-known tragedies that visit small towns and big cities all across America every day."

The President said it best: "Ultimately if this effort is to succeed it's going to require the help of the American people -- it's going to require all of you. If we're going to change things, it's going to take a wave of Americans -- mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, pastors, law enforcement, mental health professionals -- and, yes, gun owners -- standing up and saying 'enough' on behalf of our kids."

So let's continue this conversation and get something meaningful done. If you have additional ideas and are interested in further engagement with the White House on this issue, please let us know and share your thoughts here:

Thank you for speaking out and staying involved.
Stay Connected
Tell us what you think about this response and We the People.

Well, that's the response to a formal warning about my rights and what will happen if they continue to pursue and to decimate my liberties. 


Friday, December 21, 2012

Sandy Hook, Assault Rifle Issue

Watch this video

If you've not looked beyond the talking points, you're not looking at all. 

This video does not belong to me and I present it as it was found at

Daddy Skunk

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Popcorn sales 2012

Well, here we are, finally ended the popcorn sales last evening with our celebration and presentation of awards!

Our boys did well, they did very well, in fact they increased sales over the previous year by about two thirds! Nearly every boy in the pack received a patch for sales, many received free tickets to a  MSU basketball game and pizza party, some received scholarships to daycamp. The top seller in each den also received a trophy and they each get to throw a pie in the face of our Cubmaster. :) Many of the boys also received WalMart gift cards ranging from $15-$40, depending upon their contribution to sales. This was a very successful year for Pack 5.

Our Pack Trainer did a great thing for us, he invited the new District Executive to our little party and she was very pleased to feel part of everything. We're kind of lucky, in that the new DE used to work for my wife, so we've already established a great relationship with one of the top three in our district. I hope Ann has a very long and successful tenure with the BSA.

I brought along the case of Pinewood Derby kits, but didn't really push the issue on the families, not all of them will want the cars this early, so we'll wait and hand those out at the January Pack Meeting. Hard to believe that Pinewood is coming so soon.

I was blessed with a wonderful and unexpected gift from a member of my den, a wonderful card and gift card to Chick-fil-a! I thanked him and his mother several times because CFA is one of my favorite treats.

It's a certainly now, we're losing our Pack Trainer at the end of this year, he's being transferred to the KC area... we're going to miss his contributions that help the pack go. Our Bear Den Leader and his wife, our Popcorn Kernal, will be leaving us as well. I wish them all the best and know that our friendship will outlast the miles between us.

We're getting ready to switch the den into more of a patrol than we've previously done, this will probably be some growing pangs for the boys, but this will lead to future success as Boy Scouts. I plan to present the boys our patrol patches as soon as the boys can demonstrate a few more of the Arrow of Light requirements. For the most part, the pack already has heard our name 'Fearless Phoenix', now we're going to start wearing our colors and push the patrol into a strong leadership position over the other dens. I'd really consider it more  mentoring than leading, the other dens will of course still having their own work and adults, but I really want the Fearless Phoenix to step it up and teach by example.

All in all, popcorn was less painful this year that the previous two but there's always next year!

Only one week to Christmas and we've done no shopping.. gonna be a light one this year. Ebb and flow.

~Daddy Skunk

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Sweetest Sound of Liberty

It was shortly after nine
When they started a new time
Blood was flowing
In the gladiator's school
Things we perfect things were cool
Faith was around
When the news was spread around
Freedom is the sweetest sound
You can hear
And the hero of them all
"Spartacus!" you hear them call
"Where do we go?"
Dreaming of freedom is easy to do
You have to fight and win but never lose
From the nearby hills and woods
Men and women joined the troops
Without fear
And the hero of them all
"Spartacus!" you hear them call
"Where are we going?"
When the Roman soldiers come
We will soon be on the run
Heaven knows
Dreaming of freedom is easy to do
You have to fight and win but never lose
Building a new world where hate isn't known
A good kind of people with rules of their own

Friday, July 27, 2012

Day 17

Slowed down quite a bit this week, it's been so hot outside. Not been walking, just continuing the never ending war with Dr. Pepper.

My son keeps pushing for us to walk and we will. Start. Soon.

I promise.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Day 13

Well here we are, essentially two weeks later since the 'change'.

Last week was a long, very busy time in high temps. We thrived in it, cold well water made all the difference! I probably drank as much as a liter/hour during the worst temperatures.

We hiked, walked and played our hearts out at camp. Not many complaints from the boys, but several of them did skip a meal once or twice... picky eaters don't eat at camp. But boys will be boys.

My shins are absolutely destroyed from the hiking and very high levels of activity, they haven't hurt like this since Basic Training in 1990. Trying to keep enough ibuprofen and potassium in me to relieve the issue because I am NOT slowing down. Saturday was probably a 7 on the pain scale, today is more like a 4.. any given day my shoulders are a 6, so this is manageable.

My son knows we're going to kick up the activity level, he was pleased and asks now 'When are we going to do MORE?' :)

Onward, baby steps.

I weighed immediately after coming home from camp, didn't lose a single pound- but I did drink gallons of water and it's easy to tell I am walking around with 'kool-aid belly".  I should have measured around, because I did lose some of the rotund and puffiness of drinking pop all the time.

Gonna keep going, there's lots of life to live!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Day 6- "rest"

Diet was great today, veggies and less junk food.

Today was going to be a rest day because of Boy Scout camp, but we ended up cleaning out the gutters on two houses, up and down the ladder. Carry the ladder. Move the ladder. I am pooped. Shoulders have a good burn going on, it was a good workout compared to my usual 'old' lifestyle.

I'm posting this a day late, as we are preparing to leave for camp in a couple of hours. I won't be posting until Friday night and it might be a long recap of the week's events, or that information may be held over until later.

Thanks to anyone out there actually reading this and supporting me. I truly appreciate the positive vibes and can feel them pushing me onward.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Day 5

Did alright on the menu side, still need to incorporate more veggies... WIP. (Work In Progress)

Didn't really workout today but did 'play' in the neighbor's garage and attic, helping him move around some junk, just cleaning up the workspace.Leaving Monday for a week at our local Boy Scout Camp, so I'm taking today and tomorrow off from any real working out. I'm still feeling really good about making better choices.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Day 4- Physical

Ate about the same, less junk, more water. Trying to keep this pattern of movement and better choices.

Had my 'BSA Physical' today,
  •  confirmed my weight. 260 pounds. Not a pleasant number. While still enlisted I weighed 158 and was being taped to check if my BMI was within Army limits. Obviously I've gained a bit since 1993...

  • My blood pressure was alright, nothing to brag about, but not bad for a guy that is 100 or more pounds over suggested 'healthy' weight.  144/78. Losing weight will just bring that number even more within good limits. 

  • Rest pulse rate was average for my age, so the ticker is still solid.

 The Nurse Practitioner suggested a mild workout to begin with and not to expect immediate results. We talked about beverage choices that could replace my soda pop addiction, I'm going to try Mio drops in water and see how that works for me.

While shopping for our Camp Arrowhead supplies, I found the Mio and was surprised at the huge selection of flavors, decided up Orange Mango.

Didn't exercise or walk any special today, we were shopping for several hours, so that more than made up for my little evening  jaunt.

I'm feeling really good about this journey, the NP was very understanding about my weight and soda issues, but she wasn't forgiving. I've got to save myself from myself and this is going to be a daily fight. The goals I outlined on June 8  (JUST DO IT) must drive me forward because there are plenty more tomorrows that need to be shared with my family. :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day 3

Another 30 minute walk completed, probably going to up the time/distance tomorrow.

Diet- ate less today than my 'usual', no junk food, no snacks, more veggies.

Off to bed and tomorrow is another day!

Day 2

Well, it wasn't a great day, but I did get my 30minutes of walking in.

It was a Cub Scout's birthday party, so pizza buffet was enjoyed, but not to excess.

Moving on to day 3.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Day 1

Walked for 30 minutes, that's 30 more minutes than I've been doing the past year of so..

Should have had a salad with dinner, but didn't. Cut back on my intake of soda and junk snacking, need to get some healthier snack options, maybe I'll get to the store tomorrow.

Not a bad day, it was much cooler than the past week, so the walk was quite easy. Maybe I'll try to jog bit tomorrow, we'll see how the knees hold up on concrete/black top.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Just Do It

  •  Does motivation matter?  
  • Does it matter why we do the things we do, or endure the things we endure?
  •  Would you change your ways for someone else, something else, or to go somewhere else?

The answer most would provide is 'Yes, motivation matters and yes, I would change my ways to improve my situation.' I've proclaimed this at least a dozen times during the past couple of decades and nearly every time, I've  failed to follow up. Well, it's time to do it again- but this one has to be for good and for LIFE. 

Time to wear off this round-belly disease that I've allowed myself to perpetuate. If for nothing else, let it be for my own personal health.

Weight wasn't an issue for me until after I turned 18, prior to that I was always biking or active in some form of continuous outdoor activity. It's time to return to my roots and break the newer roots that are holding me steadfast. 

In the big scheme of things, you really have control over so little that occurs, one thing you DO have control over is your waistline. The time to muster all my drive and courage is now and I plan to use this site as my personal record of movement and success.

I will record my workouts and diet here, both successes and failures. I WILL DO IT DAILY. 

Later this week I will be getting my Boy Scout physical and the dirty details will be posted here, as a reminder, for me and the world to know. 

Among the many things that I'd like to accomplish with this new beginning
  1. better physical health- I'd like to enjoy another 50 or more years
  2. improve my prospects for work- who wants to hire a fatty? 
  3. improve my relationship with my kids- they want a dad that can run and play and go on bike rides
  4. return to the shape I was in when my wife met me- she deserves a husband who is fit and fab
  5.  there are some bucket list items that require me to be in better physical shape
  6. my future in the BSA will be negatively affected if I don't change
  7. God gave me life- I should respect his temple and keep it clean
  8. many other things that I will address at the appropriate time

My background story is common; family history of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure... you name it. There's just a wealth of reasons that drive me to improve my own physical condition. 

 So, what it comes down to is please check up on me and let me know if you're quietly cheering me on from the sidelines... I will not be posting about this on facebook or talking about it anywhere other than this blog. I pray my readers will urge me forward and be there to celebrate the changes we see along the way.

I'll spare you the before pictures, at least until we have something better to brag about, trust me right now is nothing to brag about.

Today begins a new me. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Liberty or death is more than a tshirt slogan, much more.

"Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War. They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his Ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags. Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton. At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General, Cornwallis, had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt. Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.

So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots."
It's your basic cut n paste going around the interwebz, 'what happened to those who risked their lives, fortunes and personal honor to form our nation?'
That makes me wonder what would you, or I, be willing to risk to restore the Republic? No shits, no giggles- WHAT WOULD YOU PUT ON THE LINE? That is a really huge question if you have a family, career or business that requires support, protection and love.  
Could you hide away your family, constantly moving, in order to attain liberty for the masses?  Could you stand to see your children driven from their home, your spouse imprisoned, your very livelihood burnt to the ground? Could you step to the gallows or firing squad without whimpering like a lost dog? Could you stand to lose your children in armed conflict for such a grand word as 'liberty'?
These are questions that we really need to be asking ourselves, as our nation spirals down the drain and into the sewer of despotism.  I'd like to think my kin would be unscathed from my personal choices and actions, but we know full well that is NOT a reality when you're standing against tyrants. 
If the steps are taken, there will be NO turning back. There won't be anywhere to return, we aren't even allowed to leave the country without a government issued passport. Passport in hand, you can still be stopped at the borders if you appear on a secret 'list'. Be assured there are many secret lists, each part of the pig has its own list of enemies.  DHS, NSA, IRS, FBI, TSA and more illegal alphabet groups are just waiting for the right people to appear at the right place for detainment. 
Remember a phrase termed 'rule of law'? It means we can expect government to react in a certain way to certain situations, because of our laws. The problem is our government no longer concerns itself with our laws, or worse yet, exempts itself from those very laws that were meant to maintain order and justice. We truly are living without rule of law.
Happy Independence Day to you all, especially those who won't fight or stand up for what is right, you deserve freedom even if you won't fight for it with your own hands.  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

There is only black and white.


 A little reminder to self- either people are in or out, there just is not time in our lives for people who do not commit.


Revelation 3:15-16

New International Version (NIV)
15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

Say what you will about religion and politics, but there just isn't room in my life for people who are pole sitters, wind checkers, wishy-washy, or just plain uncommitted. Perhaps this comes back to the unrealistic expectations I place upon others-  'be 100% committed or 100% uninterested and stay out of my way.' 

This is an issue that has vexed me for most of my life, I could never figure out why some kids would play for hours and others would drift away to something else. Similar events happened in my school years, either the topic amazed and consumed me or it was the most boring subject ever. Now, in my adult years, things are still moving along at a similar pace- there are things that raise my spirits high and fill my heart and mind with excitement, then there are things in which I just do not involve myself. 

Are you hot, cold or lukewarm? 

 My suggestion- Do the things that keep you hot and full of life. Ignore those things that bring you down to lukewarm and the things that make you cold, face those with a smile. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Stolen Valor Act struck down by SCOTUS

It's now approved as your right to run down to the army surplus store and become a PX Ranger. Grab it all and wear it all. It doesn't hurt anyone, after all, it's your RIGHT to LIE ABOUT RANK AND AWARDS of HEROISM AND MERIT!

I'll cover more on this story at a later time.

Affordable Care Act

I wept for our nation today. Literally wept. Uncontrollably. 

Will my children know the peace and dignity I felt as a child?

Poor but proud was us, we didn't realize or even care about the garbage people concern themselves with today. We had a continuous rotation of junk cars from American Motors, because dad was always selling used cars out of the front yard.  Mom was busy working her tail off as a Nurse's Aid and trying hard to earn her LPN certification. My sister and I were happy to play outside with our friends. We would gleefully eat pigs in a blanket, PB&J, or frozen pizzas.  We used every off brand in the grocery store and were on food stamps from time to time. We had plenty of homemade clothes and knew that we were to respect and care for the few items we had. Grandma and Grandpa Mondy helped  us when they could, especially at birthdays and Christmas, I swear those two days were the reason we would wake up everyday and walk to school. Never once did our crew take a family vacation or ask someone else to pay our bills. We truly were poor but proud.

Will my children know the peace and dignity I felt as child? No.

I fear we have only one option left and that option was chosen by brave patriots in Colonial America. Those men and women risked EVERYTHING in order to be free people with an unwritten destiny based in their right to choose. Choose to be wrong, choose to be right, choose to win and sometimes lose. There are no guaranteed outcomes in the world, at least there weren't in colonial times. Now we have people on welfare receiving free cell phones but that's not enough for these leaches.

I wept for our nation today.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Racism and the Second Amendment

Zombie Tactics makes a great point of how all gun laws stem from fear, hatred and bigotry.  I believe there should be absolutely ZERO gun laws, after all, the words SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED sound pretty clear to me. 

Got it? We're all equals and we should be respected as such.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


I just need to vent a bit, of course it has to do with one of my greatest passions- rule of law and politics.

One of our state senators came to our legislative review group on Facebook, where he bragged about the passage of a bill he authored. He was sharing 'with friends and relatives' his success and celebrating himself. After some thoughtful questions and research, many of us were interested in the intent of his bill and what benefit it might truly serve to the citizens of our great state.

I went to the state website for the senate and looked up the bill and read it several times before continuing my line of questions, but it turns out the final version is NOT available to read online as the vote was Friday afternoon. So what we essentially have is another piece of legislation with a proud author and no method to read the document while it sits on the governor's desk awaiting his signature.

I asked why bring it here if you cannot share the specifics with us, and his reply was 'we lost many state employees this year and cannot post the items on weekends'.. okay, so why couldn't HE post the bill himself or at least have a copy to post? He took the time to author a blog celebrating the passage, but he didn't have sense of mind to bring a copy to Springfield with him. He offered to email me a copy on Monday but why should *I* receive special considerations that he didn't give the entire state?

THIS is exactly what is wrong with our public servants, they think the clock is their boss, not the people. I've had it with these self serving pigs. That's all. Return to your lives, this probably did nothing for the issue but the steam has to go somewhere..

The 'good' senator doesn't see the issue with not having the legislation online to read, but he cared enough to post a self congratulatory news article ..

How soon can we replace them ALL?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Our last adventure- Petit Jean State Park, AR- Day 1

Our most recent adventure was our first overnight stay at Petit Jean, we've visited the park before but this was our first time to camp. We've stayed a few times at other Arkansas State Parks and I must say they really know how to maintain and clean a place but truly leave it in 'The Natural State'.  

We booked our campsite online, which is a GREAT way to do it, but the first few preferences were already booked. My wife handled the email conversations with the park staff, they were polite and knowledgeable about their campground and what would work for our Little Skunk Family. We always find out what exact facilities are available; Fire rings, picnic tables, where restrooms/shower-houses/water are located and how far away other campsites are from ours. The staff suggested we get campsite #37, it was visible from the main road but not on a busy corner, and it was conveniently close to the restrooms.

Arrival-  We had been to the camp store before and knew where to check in, so we drove straight past our site and went to the office. Momma Skunk paid our bill, check in and we shopped a bit for goodies and the normal touristy knickknacks. The staff here is always so helpful, letting us know the weather situation and how busy our camping area would or wouldn't be during our stay. The kids love the educational displays and historical information presented here, so we looked it over again, plus it let us stretch out from our four hour drive before we headed to set up camp. 

Set up-We knew storms would be the norm for our trip, it always rains when we camp, either at set up or take down time... I've learned to stop the cussing and just deal with it. If getting wet is the worst thing that happens to us on a trip, that is a great trip! We get to the site as the rain lightens up, so we grab our rain jackets and jump out of the car. Opening the tailgate of the Family Truckster, we grab the big locker of tarps (I'll introduce the in another post, at another time) and quickly scope out the site for drainage and find a spot to drop our tent. The established tent pad was flooded with mud that had been washed down the hill during the record rains of that week, so the pad was out of the question with more rains coming. We chose a nice spot nestled between four huge rough-bark pines, it would give anchor points for our overhead tarps and the spot was the high ground in campsite #37.

The rain begin to pick up, of course it would, we had already opened the vehicle and begun to unload, so I grabbed our monster sized tarp and began bungee cording it around the big trees. Trying to work from underneath a tarp, in the rain, and remain dry, while directing the Little Skunk Family, was a test of new 'just let it rain' attitude. We had the shelter more or less ready within 5 minutes but it felt like an hour with the rain beating against the covering as it was pressed against my head with it's own weight. Next we had to build our big family sized tent and a smaller two man for the kids to share.

We plucked the tent bag from the car and spread it out in the new dry area, our gear is packed so we always know where the door will be, so it was easy to position as we started assembling the giant poles. After some hustle and complaining, the first on the kids' part, the later on mine, we had the tent ready to raise. Pinning the poles to the anchor points along the base isn't easy on a dry day, and downright nasty in the wind and rain of spring. We get the poles in place, get the rainfly on and I began to stake down the fly while Momma Skunk finished the doorway fly... only there was one problem, the pole end that fits on the end of the pin, it was completely missing. Ugh.. really? We've used this tent for a few years now and we should've probably expected things to begin needing more maintenance. Luckily we carrying military grade duct tape in the car, so the kids grabbed it and I lashed the broken pole to its anchor spot. That repair would have to wait for a drier day. The kids set up their little tent in no time and we laid tarps under both tents and inside both tents, nothing is worse than having your gear draw up moisture from a puddle in the floor. We began setting up our chairs and other items that we could fit under the footprint of the monster tarp. I grabbed more tent pegs and we staked down the storm side of the monster and did our best to create drainage places that would focus the rain away from our tent entrances, some creative bungee cording worked very well for this task. More tarps were added to create walls around our tents and we felt a great sense of accomplishment to have created a dry shelter amidst the storms.

Next we had to fill the tents with our personal items, the biggest of which is Momma Skunk's bed- a VERY comfortable Intex Queen Sized Airbed. One of the luxuries of car camping in an electric site? Well, it's the chance to bring luxury items like this wonderful bed. I ran our power cord into the special zipper in the corner of our Coleman tent and we began to unroll the base of the bed. Once again, this is an item that we pack in a certain way to save time at camp so inflation, placing the bed and the mattress are easy to do. Yes, it's a two piece airbed, and it is amazing to sleep on. While it's a big bulky and heavy, it's perfect for car camping and we'll continue to use it as long as power is available for the high speed pump. I may do a feature on that bed at a later time.

 Dinner- With our beds readied, sleeping bags unrolled and personal gear under protection, we decided it was time to get ready for dinner. The lantern, stove and fuel tanks came out. We began to unpack our carefully planned and packed meals, Momma Skunk and I looked at each other and said 'Let's go back to town', the rain took too much out of us and a short drive was preferable to prepping/cooking and cleaning dinner. A short while later we found ourselves in Pizza Hut, ordering enough food for a dozen people.. while it was a special and left us plenty of food for later, we had a good laugh at the sheer amount of food that came back to camp with us. We hit the local WalMart, because it IS Arkansas after all, and grabbed a couple of items that we couldn't live without. Back to camp where we did our best to start a fire and share some downtime before heading to bed. The kids scavenged wood from the empty campsites and the treeline. Before too long we had a cozy little fire to sit by as we enjoyed the sounds of nature. Momma Skunk and I are weather nuts, to put it mildly, we are weather aware and use our phones to check local radar and forecasts. As the fire died down we moved our chairs back under the cover of our tarps and went to bed as the next storm hit the mountain. Sleep was sporadic with the deluge of wind and rain, the kids running to the restrooms what felt like every hour and the checking of the radar. Camping during a Tornado Watch isn't always the best plan, but we don't cancel a trip once we've made it there.

My next entry will be Day 2 and we get to meet some neighbors from campsite #36! :)

Thanks for reading, not sure where this is going, but now it's eternally part of the interwebz. 

New Beginnings

Welcome! This is my first attempt at blogging, so we shall see where it takes us. My family is active in Cub Scouting, Girl Scouting with loads of camping, hiking and just enjoying nature. I plan to share our activities with you and welcome your input for future activities.